Repeat: OTB Breakfast

05:00 AM-07:00 AM

Repeat: OTB Breakfast


La Rochelle targeted Jamison Gibson-Park with great success

Former Leinster and Scotland coach Matt Williams joined Monday Night Rugby to explain how Ronan ...

Former Leinster and Scotland coach Matt Williams joined Monday Night Rugby to explain how Ronan O'Gara and La Rochelle targeted Jamison Gibson-Park.

For the second year in a row, Ronan O'Gara and La Rochelle beat Leinster at the death.

La Rochelle beat Leinster 27-26. The game didn't come down to a score in the final minutes, but instead, it came down to a non-score. La Rochelle were able to withstand Leinster's final push at their goalline and Ross Byrne nor Leinster never sought the game-winning drop goal.

It was a game where Leinster looked set to run away with the result at the beginning.

Three unanswered, and largely easy tries put them into a double-digit lead during the first quarter of the game. Dan Sheehan scored on a set piece move, Jimmy O'Brien went in by the corner before Sheehan got his second try in just the 11th minute.

So how did Leinster lose?

La Rochelle wore them down physically over time, but they also targeted scrum-half Jamison Gibson-Park in the defensive line and relied on Leinster kicking the ball away poorly. Matt Williams explains.

"They were coming back on the short side to attack Jamison Gibson-Park in the defensive line," Williams said.

"So after a set play, Leinster put their smallest player, Jamison Gibson-Park, in the line on the wing. And you see time and time again the tactics from Ronan O'Gara. La Rochelle came to the center and came back trying to get at Jamison Gibson-Park.

"Which they did often."

It's not unusual for a team to attack the opposition's scrum half. Unless you have a Conor Murray or Mike Philips wearing the #9 jersey for you, your scrum half will probably be overmatched physically.

So in that regard it's difficult to criticize Gibson-Park or Leinster too much. La Rochelle just executed their gameplan better than Leinster did on the day.


Team of Us. Everyone In.

Vodafone. The main sponsor of the Irish Rugby Team.

Download the brand new OffTheBall App in the Play Store & App Store right now! We've got you covered!

Subscribe to OffTheBall's YouTube channel for more videos, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for the latest sporting news and content.